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Growing up in Houston, Donnie Avery was never the biggest guy playing pickup football games but he was always the fastest. Now the 5'11, 184 pounder is putting his 4.2 40 yard dash speed to good use with the St. Louis Rams. Recently, the Rams have been in transition with Jim Haslett replacing Scott Linehan as head coach. So far the move has been great for the team and for Avery.
Plenty if you're an opposing defense.
I was out at Reliant Stadium this morning getting the 411 on the Texans, as they worked out a game plan for the winless Bengals. A victory by the Texans on Sunday would be their 3rd straight, and that would be a franchise record.
In the world of politics "Joe the Plummer's" 15 minutes of fame won't last much longer, but it appears Texas running back Chris Ogbonnaya better get used to the spotlight. When the season started, the former Strake Jesuit star wasn't really a part of Mack Bown's backfield by committee. He was a third down back if he was used at all. But when the senior finally got a real shot he made the most of it.
Houston baseball fans have to be loving the major league playoffs. Sure we all wanted to see the Astros in the postseason, but that didn't happen. Instead we've been treated some excellent individual performances with Houston connections.
Front and center are the Phillies. No question one of the feel good stories of the season has been Brad Lidge. Ever since Albert Pujols smacked him around Minute Maid Park 3 years ago, Lidge was not the same. That is in an Astros uniform. Not all players have flourished in a change of scenery, but in Lidge's case it turned out to be the best career move he could make. I'm not certain the Astros lost faith in Brad's fastball, but the fans did, and having him on the roster turned into a liability. Lidge to his credit has never bad mouthed the Astros or their fans and has been perfect for the Phillies. He not only earned the "Comeback Player of the Year," he lapped the field.
While the Dodgers didn't make it to the World Series, James Loney is now on everyone's radar. We've watched Loney grow from being one of the top pitching prospects in the country while at Elkins High School, to become one of the top hitting first basemen in the National League. I got a chuckle when one announcer predicted Loney may be a future "Gold Glove" winner for his fielding prowess. What I would like to see is the Dodgers run out of pitchers and then in desperation turn to Loney. With his stuff he could strikeout the side.
The Rays Carl Crawford is ripping it up in the American League Championship Series. Tuesday night he tied a Major League record going 5 for 5 against the Red Sox in fabled Fenway Park. Remember it wasn't so many years ago Crawford was the highly recruited quarterback at Davis High School ready to go to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers proudly proclaimed, "We've never lost a quarterback to professional baseball." That is until Crawford signed on the dotted line and never looked back. He is one of the most exciting players in the big leagues to watch. Too bad he plays in the American League so we don't get to see him regularly at Minute Maid Park.
I could go on and on. Cy Falls Scott Kazmir has been money for the Rays, and Spring's Josh Beckett has already had his time in the sun in October's past. Next year we hope is the Astros time, but until then cheer on the Houstonians shining in baseball's brightest light now.
In the Texans dressing room this morning, I could hardly believe my ears. Did linebacker DeMeco Ryans, an All-America from Alabama really say Texas should be
Alabama was ranked 2nd in the country, but they didn't play last week. While they were off U.T. put a spanking on O.U., so Texas jumped over Alabama in the poll moving from number 5 to number 1. I asked Ryans if he really wokeup on Sunday thinking U.T. would be number 1. He said, "I watched the Texas, Oklahoma game and figured because of the way U.T. beat them and because so many people were watching , I figured it would push them to number 1." "That's a great thing for Alabama because the number 1 teams have been losing," Ryans said. "So Bama needs to lay low and take care of their business and it will all work out."
The Champions Tour is in town again this week ....did you know it??